Source: LA Times

Segregation in schools took a turn in 1947 in the Mendez vs. Westminster School District of Orange County, when Mendez, et al challenged the constitutionality of separate schools for Mexican students. This case would later provide the framework for Brown vs. Board of Education and desegregation in the state and across the nation.

The case was triggered when Mendez and his family moved to the OC in 1946 and his children were denied entrance to their nearby school. The district then explained to Mendez that there was a separate school – one with poor facilities and lesser resources – that was specifically for Mexicans.

Driven by the desire to help minority students in the future to gain equal educational opportunities, Mendez and four others from surrounding cities took the case to court and argued that the district violated equal protection, under the 14th amendment. The case not only gained support from several minority groups, including the NAACP, but also inspired the blueprints of the Brown vs. Board case and the decision that would deem ‘separate but equal’ facilities as unconstitutional.

Read full story at: LA Times

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A Historical Moment that Paved the Future for Mexican Students